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« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 297 -- Cable News Wars. | WILLisms.com | 53 Senators Vote To Raid Social Security. »

Social Security Reform Thursday: Week Fifty -- A Vote, At Last.


Thursdays are good days for reform, because they fall between Wednesdays and Fridays. Just because the status quo'ers got their way in 2005 does not mean the problem has gone away. Indeed, it's getting worse with each passing day. Thus, Reform Thursday continues.

That's why WILLisms.com offers a chart or graph, every Thursday, pertinent to Social Security reform.

This week's topic:

Social Security Reform Lives: Today, A Senate Vote On Reform.

For the next several years, and prior to The Big Bonk, Social Security will take in more money from payroll taxes than it pays out in benefits. It's too bad Congress spends those dollars each year on all sorts of projects and programs that have nothing to do with retirement security.

Indeed, somewhere around 2017, The Big Bonk will end the good ole days of Social Security surpluses, which, incidentally, have masked the true magnitude of annual federal budget deficits:

Click image for larger version.

And that's where legislation to stop the raid on the Social Security fund comes in. If Congress were to vote to stop the raid, the surpluses over the next several years would be available for optional personal accounts, controlled by actual individual Americans. Such legislation was close to being a reality just before Hurricane Katrina hit, but, unfortunately, it was put off indefinitely after the storm.

Until today.

Yes, it looks like there will be an actual vote on Social Security reform today, Reform Thursday, of all days.

An email from South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint landed in my inbox yesterday:

Stop the Raid on Social Security Update:

Today, Senator DeMint introduced an amendment to the Budget Resolution that will force Senators to take the first substantive vote on Social Security in years. The amendment (attached) would allow Congress to stop spending Social Security surpluses on other government programs. Senator DeMint believes it is time to have a vote on Social Security to see who supports raiding the program and who will fight to stop it.

Specifically, the DeMint Amendment creates a reserve fund in the budget resolution that would allow (but not force) Congress to pass legislation protecting all or part of the Social Security surpluses. The DeMint Amendment stipulates 3 requirements for any legislation considered under the budget:

* Social Security surpluses must be used to pay for future Social Security benefits;
* No changes can be made to Social Security benefits for those born before Jan. 1, 1950; and
* A voluntary option must be created to allow legal ownership of a portion of benefits.

If legislation were considered under this amendment, Congress would have to create savings in other areas of the federal budget to protect Social Security surpluses. In effect, the amendment would force Congress to make tough choices today to make Social Security more secure tomorrow.

The DeMint Amendment promotes:

* Social Security sustainability
* Personal ownership
* Honest budgeting
* Fiscal discipline

Congress has been raiding the Social Security surplus for over twenty years. Including interest, Congress has now spent $1.7 trillion of Social Security money on other government programs. According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security will continue to run surpluses until 2017 at which time benefits will exceed revenues. The DeMint Amendment would help Congress pass legislation to protect these surpluses for the next 5 years (FY 2007-2011), which will total $423 billion.

The vote on the DeMint Amendment will likely occur sometime Thursday night
and it will answer an important question – whether or not the Senate wants to stop spending the Social Security surplus on other government programs.

If you want to read the entire 3-page text of the reform measure (in .pdf) form, click here to download the file. And more from Senator DeMint here.

While this measure wouldn't mean we reformers have won, it would provide the framework for future reform. And if a Senator votes against this measure, it's really a vote against stopping the raid on the Social Security surplus, a practice that is highly upsetting to many Americans. More on this issue at National Review.

It's time for reform.

The clock is ticking:



Previous Reform Thursday graphics can be seen here:

-Week One (Costs Exceed Revenues).
-Week Two (Social Security Can't Pay Promised Benefits).
-Week Three (Americans Getting Older).
-Week Three, bonus (The Templeton Curve).
-Week Four (Fewer Workers, More Retirees).
-Week Five (History of Payroll Tax Base Increases).
-Week Six (Seniors Living Longer).
-Week Six, bonus (Less Workers, More Beneficiaries).
-Week Seven (History of Payroll Tax Increases).
-Week Seven, bonus (Personal Accounts Do Achieve Solvency).
-Week Eight (Forty Year Trend Of Increasing Mandatory Spending).
-Week Nine (Diminishing Benefits Sans Reform).
-Week Ten (Elderly Dependence On Social Security).
-Week Eleven (Entitlement Spending Eating The Budget).
-Week Twelve (Benefit Comparison, Bush's Plan versus No Plan).
-Week Thirteen (Younger Americans and Lifecycle Funds).
-Week Fourteen (The Thrift Savings Plan).
-Week Fifteen (Understanding Progressive Indexing).
-Week Sixteen (The Graying of America).
-Week Seventeen (Debunking Myths).
-Week Eighteen (Debunking Myths).
-Week Nineteen (Reform Needed Sooner Rather Than Later).
-Week Twenty (Global Success With Personal Accounts).
-Week Twenty-One (GROW Accounts: Stopping The Raid).
-Week Twenty-Two (Millions of Lockboxes).
-Week Twenty-Three (Support for Ryan-DeMint).
-Week Twenty-Four (KidSave Accounts).
-Week Twenty-Five (Latinos and Social Security).
-Week Twenty-Six (AmeriSave).
-Week Twenty-Seven (Cost Of Doing Nothing).
-Week Twenty-Eight (Chile).
-Week Twenty-Nine (Entitlement Spending Out Of Control).
-Week Thirty (Reform Better Deal Than Status Quo).
-Week Thirty-One (Social Security As A Labor Cost).
-Week Thirty-Two (Social Security And Dependence On Government).
-Week Thirty-Three (Social Security, Currently A Bad Deal For African-Americans).
-Week Thirty-Four (Longer Life Expectancies Straining Social Security).
-Week Thirty-Five (Howard Dean & Salami).
-Week Thirty-Six (Growing Numbers of Beneficiaries Draining Social Security).
-Week Thirty-Seven (The Crisis Is Now).
-Week Thirty-Eight (Disability Benefits).
-Week Thirty-Nine (Broken Benefit Calculation Formula).
-Week Forty (German Social Security Disaster).
-Week Forty-One (Crumbling Pyramid Scheme).
-Week Forty-Two (Overpromising, Globally).
-Week Forty-Three (Demographic Wave).
-Week Forty-Four (The Jerk Store).
-Week Forty-Five (Defined Benefit Plans).
-Week Forty-Six (Even The Empty Promises Are A Bad Deal).
-Week Forty-Seven (Our Aging Population).
-Week Forty-Eight (The Tax Increases Required To Cover Social Security's Costs).
-Week Forty-Nine (Much Longer To Get Your Money Back From Social Security).

Tune into WILLisms.com each Thursday for more important graphical data supporting Social Security reform.

Posted by Will Franklin · 16 March 2006 11:13 AM


A step in the right direction...

Posted by: Hoodlumman at March 16, 2006 01:39 PM

Are you kidding?...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at March 16, 2006 02:07 PM

I wonder if hell is strting to cool down? I am in shock!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at March 16, 2006 02:12 PM

Unconfirmed reports that DeMint used poster board presentations with a weimaraner puppy from Texas on it.

Posted by: Hoodlumman at March 16, 2006 04:03 PM